La Baratteuse (Woman Churning). 1855. Etching. Delteil, Melot 10.ii/iii. 6 3/4 x 4 3/8 (sheet 7 x 4 5/8). Printed on white wove paper trimmed to the platemark. Impressions of states one and two are rare. Early impressions were often printed by Millet. Unsigned. $3,750.
In state one, much of the foul biting in the woman's skirt and on the barrel has been become worn in later states. In state two, additional oblique lines on the feather duster and horizontal lines on the ground to the right have been added. This proof appears to be a very early impression of state two, as the barrels on left have not been strengthened. In state three, additional lines in the image have been strengthened, and the name and address of the printer, Auguste Delâtre, have been added in the lower right.
La Cardeuse (Woman Carding Wool). c. 1858. Etching. Delteil, Melot 15. only state. 10 x 7 (sheet 12 3/8 x 9 1/2). Illustrated: Print Collector's Quarterly 25 (1938): 146; Keppel, The Golden Age of Engraving; Leipnik, A History of French Etching. An extremely rich, well-inked impression with plate tone, printed on antique laid papier vedâtre paper. Unsigned. $3,000.
A Woman Sewing. 1855-56. Etching. Delteil, Melot 9.iii. 4 1/8 x 3 (sheet 8 1/4 x 6). A rich impression printed on papier vedâtre. An extremely scarce etching. Unsigned. $3,500.
The Potato Harvest. c. 1920. Lithograph printed in black ink on green wove paper. 9 3/8 x 12 1/ 2 (sheet 13 3/8 x 19 5/8). Lettered on stone with Millet's initials: 'J.F.M'. Annotated with production detail by F E Jackson: 'F.E.J. imp 22'. Not in Burty, Delteil or Melot. The stone (which is now in the Whitworth Art Gallery) was 'rediscovered' and printed for the first time in 1920 by Francis Ernest Jackson for the dealers Ernest Brown & Phillips in an edition of 200, of which this impression is no. 22. It has since been discovered that the stone was a fake made by Millet's grandson (based on information provided to the British Museum by Sarah Hyde of the Whitworth). The original painting of the subject is at The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. $1,500.
Millet was born into a family of peasant farmers near Cherbourg. He depicted numerous rural scenes based on his childhood memories. Renowned for his Realist subject matter, Jean-Francois Millet was moved by social injustice to paint peasants and agricultural laborers, capturing both the poverty and dignity of rural French life. 'The human side of art is what touches me most,' he once said. Though the artist was considered a socialist revolutionary by much of the establishment, Millet's painting The Winnower (1848), praised by one critic as possessing 'everything it takes to horrify the bourgeois,' sold at the Paris Salon in 1848. In 1849, Millet moved to Barbizon, where he painted many of his most famous works, and, with Théodore Rousseau, Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, and others, founded the Barbizon School of landscape painters.
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